HD Super AMOLED Explained: the Future of Mobile Displays

By Your Mobile Life on at

You’ve seen the display on the Samsung GALAXY Note II and it’s impossible to not be impressed; with its large dimensions and expansive viewing area, combined with an HD resolution, it’s perfect for everything you want to do on the go.

However, we humans are a curious bunch by nature – sometimes we want to know how we’re getting such impressive performance in a smartphone, rather than just labelling it as some kind of technological sorcery and moving on.

So let’s take a look behind the scenes and see what really makes Samsung’s HD Super AMOLED technology (the official name of the GALAXY Note II screen) tick.

What is HD Super AMOLED?

When you first look at the myriad displays on offer for the humble smartphone, it would be easy to get so confused you just shut yourself in a shed with an old black and white TV and never think about it again.

After all, we’ve got LCD, LED, Super LCD, OLED, AMOLED – and they can be monochrome, full colour, as grainy as a glue factory in a sandstorm or clearer than life.

But thankfully Samsung’s technology is marvellously simple in its naming process. Super AMOLED is the name of the Korean firm’s technology, and it’s been used in devices for years, ranging from the original Samsung GALAXY S to the current breed of premium GALAXY devices.

The HD part of the moniker is what’s really exciting here though, as it pumps up the pixel count to give you, the viewer, a super-crisp display that brings everything you look at marvellously to life.

We’re talking 1280 x 720 pixel counts here – think back five years and you were probably salivating over the thought of a 32-inch TV with that kind of resolution, and now it’s here in your hand.


What is better about OLED over LCD? How is it made?

Sometimes people don’t realise that there’s a huge divide in the smartphone and tablet market: those that use OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays, and those that run with LCD (Liquid Crystal Display).

The latter technology is the one most people will be familiar with, as it’s the tech that’s been powering TVs and flatscreens for years.

However, OLED has been around for a while now, and it’s finally been developed to a point where it can be used to create jaw dropping, mesmerising displays.

The fundamental difference between OLED and LCD is the need for a backlight – simply put, LCDs need light behind the pixels so you can see them, where OLEDs are self-emissive.

This backlight adds weight and thickness to a device, so by using this new technology Samsung’s GALAXY Note II can be made thinner and lighter to make it feel like it’s hardly in your pocket!

So how does this make the GALAXY Note II so good?

Another key benefit of OLED technology is the contrast ratios it can provide – simply put, the blacks are as dark as can be and the white portions dazzlingly clear.

Compared to LCD, which struggles to offer truly dark blacks thanks to the backlight seeping through, Samsung’s HD Super AMOLED screen brings super clarity no matter what you want to do.

Combined with the High Definition resolution this means that viewing videos on your mobile goes from being simply convenient to jaw-dropping – if you don’t believe us, load up an HD movie to show your friends down the pub and watch them marvel at the crispness and clarity of the screen.

On top of that, the pin-sharp resolution means that doing more detailed things like viewing your calendar in month mode offers up more visible information, so you won’t have to keep zooming in and out of days to know whether you’ve got a meeting to attend or a family gathering to find a way to avoid.

And, of course, the HD Super AMOLED screen on the Samsung GALAXY Note II is perfect for internet viewing. Not only does the wide and generous screen mean you can see more of the web page you’re interested in at once, but with the high pixel density you can read text without having to zoom in. It’s like having a computer monitor in your pocket.

Where can display technology go?

The best thing about today’s smartphone technology is that it’s constantly evolving, so while we’re already getting a fantastic experience there’s still so much to look forward to.

The obvious next step is Full HD screens, bringing 1920 x 1080 pixel counts to the smartphone, offering another level of clarity.

Samsung’s also developed Youm, which is a new Super AMOLED display that actually bends. By using a plastic backing rather than the traditional glass and metal, Samsung has managed to create a way of wrapping a display around the end or side of the phone – or even possibly on a flexible watch!

There’s no doubt that the Samsung GALAXY Note II offers the best the smartphone world has to offer, and now we’ve shown why it’s got one of the best displays out there too.

So no matter whether you’re looking to browse the internet, watch the latest blockbuster or streamline your office, the HD Super AMOLED screen is definitely the way to do it.